Newsletter January 2017

Message from the DISC office

Dear all,

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2017! We hope you have all enjoyed the festive season and that you are ready for a brand new year. In March the annual Benelux Meeting will be held in Spa, Belgium and we hope that many of you are planning to attend. It is always a good way to meet up with colleagues and to stay in tune with what is happening in the Dutch-Belgian Systems and Control community.

In December 2016 the Winter Course took place at Wageningen University and Research. It was a well attended, successful event about which you can read some more further on in the newsletter. Of course we are also planning the DISC Summer School 2017. More details will become available soon.

A warm welcome to all new members and hopefully 2017 will prove to be an inspiring and productive year for everyone!

With best regards,

Henk Nijmeijer,
Scientific director

Martha Otte,
DISC secretariat

Upcoming DISC courses

In January 2017 the following DISC courses will start:

Mathematical Models of Systems
(J.W. Polderman and K. Camlibel)

Modeling and Control of Hybrid Systems
(B. De Schutter and W.P.M.H. Heemels)

Register via the DISC course platform or email

This Academic year the following courses are scheduled:

Linear Matrix Inequalities for Control
Computational Linear Algebra, A least squares perspective
Mathematical Models of Systems
Modeling and Control of Hybrid Systems
Nonlinear Control Systems
Design Methods for Control Systemss
Distributed Parameter Systems
Automatic Verification and Synthesis of Complex Systems


The courses are taught at cursus en vergadercentrum Domstad in Utrecht, location Koningsbergerstraat 9. For more information see their website.

36th Benelux Meeting on Systems and Control

The Organizing Committee has the pleasure of inviting you to participate in the 36th Benelux Meeting on Systems and Control to be held at “Sol-Cress”, Spa, Belgium, on March 28 – 30, 2017.

The aim of this meeting is to promote research activities and cooperation between researchers in Systems and Control. It is the thirty-sixth in a series of annual conferences that are held alternately in Belgium and The Netherlands. The meeting takes place under the auspices of the DYSCO (Dynamical Systems, Control and Optimisation) network and is organized by UCLouvain.

Important Dates
Abstract Submission Opens: December 16, 2016
Registration Opens: January 11, 2017
Deadline Abstract Submission : January 26, 2017
Notification of Acceptance: February 8, 2017
Deadline Final Abstract Submission: March 3, 2017
Deadline Early Registration: February 15, 2017
Conference Program Available: March 21, 2017
Book of Abstracts Available: March 21, 2017

Check the website for more information

DISC Summer School 2017

We are preparing for the DISC Summer School 2017. This year’s edition will be organised by Bayu Jayawardhana (RUG), Tamas Keviczky (TUD) and Ming Cao (RUG). The title will be  “Systems and control perspective on privacy, safety, and security in large-scale cyber-physical systems”. The Summer School will take place at the end of June / beginning of July 2017.

More information will become available soon so please keep an eye on the website.

DISC Winter Course on System Identification in the Life Sciences

The DISC winter course ” System Identification in the Life Sciences” was held from December 7-8 at Wageningen University and Research. The winter course was well attended by approximately 25 PhD students from various DISC departments and other institutes (even from France!).

The lecturers, Johan Schoukens and Jaap Molenaar, delivered interesting talks with plenty of room for interaction. On the first day the emphasis was more on the modelling of biological systems and parameter estimation (in a Systems Biology setting). On the second day, frequency domain analysis and system identification was the central topic in which advanced methods were presented and summarized. The Matlab sessions, which were held in the afternoon, also provided an opportunity for practical applications and interaction. Of course, the participants also enjoyed the traditional winter course dinner!

Ming Cao (RUG-ENTEG) wins IFAC Manfred Thoma medal 2016

ERC consolidator grant for Jeroen Rouwkema (UT-Biomechanical engineering)

Rouwkema, Jeroen (UT)University of Twente researcher Jeroen Rouwkema is awarded the prestigious Consolidator Grant by the European Research Council (ERC). Rouwkema will receive ERC funding (two million Euros) for his project ‘VascArbor’, the goal of which is to control the development and organization of blood vessels in cultured tissues.

The aim of Jeroen Rouwkema’s research is to help lay the groundwork needed to successfully connect blood vessels in lab-grown tissue to patients’ circulatory systems. Rouwkema explains: “Cultivated tissues have the potential to replace donor tissue, and may well do so in future, but their clinical application is still rather limited. Cultivated tissues often lack blood vessel networks, which makes it difficult to integrate them into the body. We want to change that.”

Fore more information see here.

Position open at the Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Twente

The Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Twente has a position open for an Assistant Professor in Complex Systems. See:!/vacature/868023

New people

Eindhoven University of Technology

Hola! My name is Paul, I am a PhD student from the Control Systems group at TU/e.
I will be working in the EVERLASTING (Electric Vehicle Enhanced Range, Lifetime And Safety Through INGenious battery management) project. This is a collaboration between 11 partners from academia and industry (
My contribution to this project is to conduct research on complete vehicle energy management strategies for fully electric vehicles. The goal is to maximize the driving range of the electric transportation systems by means of the design and implementation of computationally efficient distributed optimization algorithms.

My name is Ellen van Nunen and I’m starting my PhD on “Safe truck platooning” with supervision of Nathan van de Wouw. I’ll be at TU/e for 2 days a week, and I also work at TNO (department of integrated vehicle safety) as a research scientist. In 2004 I received the M.Sc. degree in applied mathematics from TU/e. Then I worked for 2 years at Philips/NXP in electronics and now for 10 years at TNO in the automotive industry. Since 2010, I’ve worked on topics related to cooperative automated driving (collision avoidance, risk estimation, gracefull degradation, environmental perception), and gained on-road experience with these systems.

Delft University of Technology


Hi, my name is Wouter Wolfslag. I recently moved back to my hometown Leiden. Before that, I lived in Delft where I did my B.Sc. M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering. Having nearly finished my Ph.D. at the BioMechanical engineering department, I now just started a postdoc at DCSC. Here I will be involved in making robots learn task-relevant state representations from their sensor data and a reward function. In my spare time I like to play boardgames or sports (mostly field-hockey and squash), cook, or relax with a book.

Groningen University

Hi, my name is Henk van Waarde. I received my master’s degree in Applied Mathematics at the University of Groningen in 2016. During my master project, I worked on structural controllability analysis of dynamical networks. Currently, I am a PhD student at the Smart Manufacturing Systems group in Groningen, under supervision of dr. P. Tesi and prof. dr. M.K. Camlibel. Within my research project we consider dynamical networks with unknown network topology. The aim of the project is to develop methods to infer the topology of such networks from observation data.

Cenedese, Carlo (RUG, 2017)Name: Carlo Cenedese
Starting date: 9/01/2017
Function: PhD student
Group: Discrete Technology and Production Automation
Supervisor: Prof. dr. Ming Cao

I obtained my bachelor degree in Information Engineering  and my
master degree in Automation Engineering at the University of Padua
My master thesis treats the control of dynamic driving simulator
platform with a new type of algorithm based on MPC with a time varying
prediction horizon. All the simulations done were made using Matlab
and then the code was translated to C++ in order to control the real
After my graduation in July I worked for the University of Padua,
having won a research grant, in order to complete the implementation
of some algorithms related to my thesis work.

PhD defenses

Candidate: G. Fu, MSc
Group: DIAM/MP
Thesis: Improving volcanic ash forecasts with ensemble-based data assimilation
Promotor: H.X. Lin en A.W. Heemink
Date: 9 januari 2017
Location: TU Aula
Time: 14.00 uur

Next issue of the newsletter

The next issue of this Newsletter will appear in February 2017.
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